May 30, 2004
Sacramento, CA - The Brown women's crew team captured its fourth national title at the 2004 NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, CA on Sunday. The varsity eight and second varsity eight both won their grand final races while the varsity four placed third in its grand final. The Bears finished with 70 points, 12 points ahead of second place finisher Yale.
The varsity four, stroked by freshman Daniella Priebatsch, started things off for Brown in the final day of competition, timing in at 7:32.2. Virginia won the event with a time of 7:27.5 while Washington finished second with a time of 7:30.8. The Bears third place finish earned them 10 points.
In the second varsity eight final, Brown, stroked by senior Diane Schneider, broke out to take the lead about midway through the race and ended up winning by over two seconds. The Bears closest competition came from Cal, which finished second in a hard fought battle. The rest of the field was at least a full length back for the second half of the race. Washington State was third while Michigan was fourth. Yale came in fifth and Washington finished last.
Going into the varsity eight grand final, Brown held a four point lead over Cal and a nine point advantage over Yale with 34 total points. The Bears were guaranteed the team title so long as Yale did not place three spots in front and Cal did not place two spots ahead of them.
Brown, stroked by sophomore Deborah Dryer, went on to row a spectacular race, winning the grand final and thus capturing the team trophy. Despite a nose-to-nose battle with Yale up until the end, the Bears held on for the win, timing in at 6:32.9 to the Bulldogs 6:34.6. Michigan finished third while Princeton, the eastern champion, placed fourth. Cal fell well behind midway through the race and finished last.
"I'm really proud of them," said Head Coach John Murphy of his team. "These last couple of weeks they worked extremely hard and we had some good water and got some good practices in. They took full advantage of it and it showed today."
Brown has won four of the last eight National Championships, continuing its dominance in collegiate women's rowing.
Brown Varsity Eight Boat
Sophomore Mira Mehta (cox); Sophomore Deborah Dryer (stroke); Sophomore Meg Anderson (7); Junior Catherine Starr (6); Senior Karen Prazar (5); Freshman Rachel Dearborn (4); Freshman Natalia Obolensky (3); Senior Marie Walcott (2); Sophomore Gillian Almy (bow)
Brown Second Varsity Eight Boat
Senior Erika Faires (cox); Senior Diane Schneider (stroke); Sophomore Caitlin Flynn (7); Senior Sophie Branson-Gill (6); Junior Meghan Kelly (5); Sophomore Maggie Cheney (4); Sophomore Kaitlin Masarie (3); Senior Audrey Patten (2); Senior Peggy McKendry (bow).